Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Obama Selects Rick Warren for Invocation

So, I just read an article, linked here, about how Barack Obama has selected evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.  Now Obama is all about change, so lets take a look at some of the changes Rick Warren would like to see.

“Many Rwandans would identify themselves as Christians, but for most of them it’s just a label. Their Christian religion didn’t keep the 1994 genocide from happening, and it left horrible spiritual scars on the country. More than 800,000 people died and maybe 2 million were forced to flee the country. They have made some good progress in the last 10 years, but the only thing that will heal Rwanda’s scars is the love of Jesus Christ.” -Rick Warren, in an interview with the Women’s Missionary Union

While I disagree Warren on this, I can understand were he is coming from.  I don’t have a problem this, in and of itself.  What bugs me is that fact that said genocide is the product of a nasty little thing called intolerance.  Now, intolerance manifests itself in a lot of ugly ways, of which racism is only one.  Some people are intolerant of religion, others of certain ethnic and cultural groups, and some of sexual diversity.  However, the main culprit is always the same: intolerance.  To be anti-gay is no different than being anti-Jewish or anti-black.  Rick warren is clearly opposed to such bigotry though, seeing as he seems as disgusted with the Rwandan genocide as I am.  Or is he?

What you will find in the video above is Warren comparing gay marriage to incest, polygamy, and statutory rape.  He claims to be against gay marriage, and against altering the definition of marriage, a stance which he justifies by invoking religious tradition.  I might of missed this in my civic class, but I’m pretty sure that religious tradition, no matter how old and how many religions ascribe to it, doesn’t play a role in determining laws in America.  Warren’s stance is basically that becuase religious tradition regarding gay marriage has been intolerant all these years, we shouldn’t go changing it now.  He claims to believe in equal rights, but supports thousands of years of intolerant tradition.  That fact that same-sex marriage is a religious tradition is irrelevant, and has no bearing on the legal definition of marriage.  Warren claims this is not a Christian issue, but he does indicate that it is a religious one.  Whats the difference?  Why should me refrain from abolishing intolerance and embracing equal rights based on religious tradition?  Polygamy is and was a tradition once too.

At the beginning of this, Warren claims to be a supporter of the separation of church and state.  But, in the previous video, clearly stated that he is opposed to altering the definition of marriage based on religious tradition!  This all seems a bit inconsistent to me.  I’m pretty sure that opposing legislature based on religious traditions violates the principle of church state separation.

I have more I could say about Warren, but I’m done for now.  I’m extremely disappointed in Obama’s decision to associate himself with someone so anti-change, and pro-tradition.

- Chalmer

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Venom In The Veins

Venom

in the

Veins

It’s my property! Why, I paid $985 for this here piece of flesh, and I have the right to do what I want with it.

Pounded under the slave block’s gavel,

bid-$1-2-430 bid-$2-4-580 bid-$3-4-850 bid-$5-6-1,000

& Sold, & Sold, & Sold, & Sold,

heart beats, heart beats, heart beats, heart beats

Four million hearts beating

Imprisoned

For Life

For Greed

For Lust

for

the rhythm of planting, picking—

FLESH

Turned into MONEY,

Blood

Poured into crops,

Fusing with the dirt

And

Raining from the sky—

Southern trees bore a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Across the street,

in the White Churches,

BREAD turned to CHRIST’S FLESH,

and

BLOOD

to WINE

So if’in I want to rape it, hate it, mutilate it, that ain’t none of your business. I can even kill it if I want to ‘cause it’s mine, and you can’t stop me. Though me killin’ it would mean I was downright crazy given what I just paid for it. But when it gets old and useless, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth, I just might hunt it for fun. Now you just get on out of my way before I start to showin’ my hate for you, you anti-Christian piece of Northern trash! It’s in the Bible; they’re heathens, savages, inferior, don’t believe in Jesus, and even when converted, they still the sons of Ham. My preacher taught me the word of God. He should know. God’s never wrong, and We Southerners have God on our sidde [ssssss-slap]

God on our siiiiid- [sssss-slap]

God on our siiii- [ssss-slap]

God on our sssss- [ssss-slap]

God on ouuur- [ssss-slap]

God onnn -[ssss-slap]

“Oh, yes ye converted heathen, God has a message for thee; be meek and mild my child in the face of thy travails. Submit and repent; think only of Heaven, not this world, and the next will be yours.”

So said the Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and cohorts.

(and the country whispers but that was so long ago; that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but look and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—and yes, even most the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

The vomiting has begun

AGAIN

The bile is rising

AGAIN

The venom in the veins

Courses hardy

Again,

Throbbing, pulsing

AGAINf

Lub dub, Lub dub, Lub dub:

The throb of life calling for

MURder, MURder, MURder, MURder

chanting in a viperous tongue

slithering from

the Reptilian brain,

spitting

H A T E

K I L L.


When did slavery end?

When did it end?

Physical fact,

Or

State of mind?

Emotional?

Spiritual?

Cultural?

As law?

Or

Law enforcement?

But only the sightless believe

It ended in 1864.

Jim Crow’s reign, segregation, culture of terror, KKK, politicians, Good-White-Men-with-Family-Values. Black ink on White paper records 3,437 African-American lynched up to 1951. Not recorded: every Beating, Stabbing, Crippling, Broken bone, Fried human, Burnt house, Vigilantes Hunting in packs…..

Rising in the pride of the South, strong in their conviction, pleased with their Tradition, Southern Governors and Senators spoke out for what their cold, lizard hearts and squalid eyes and fetid brains claimed as Truth. the “Negro” is inferior. With God (& their ‘way of life’) on their side, they made sure no African American sat on a jury; lynchings took place with impunity as community picnic entertainment, photographed with pride—placed in the family album next to the wedding reception.

(and the country whispers….but that was so long ago… that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but mark and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—the Lovers and the Loved—and yes, even most, the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

Woodrow Wilson, a racist Enforcer, segregated the federal government: 1902-1910. One man—the country followed.

1955, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting in Mississippi crossed an invisible “white’s only” boundary he didn’t even know existed. His punishment: eyes gouged out, beaten to death, then, finally, shot in the head, thrown into the Tallahatchie River, a 75-pound fan tied around his neck with barbed wire weighing his small body down. Only 54 years ago (and the country pretends… it was so long ago…but oh how wrong we are. It happened during my lifetime. And it was not the end.). Two men arrested, not held or punished; the haters enforced their reign of terror, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI promulgated hate, intimidating civil rights workers, giving aid to lynchers, discrediting Martin Luther King, Jr., serving him up to the murdering mob.

1968, only 41 years ago, racism killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

1981, two KKK members in Alabama randomly chose to lynch 19-year-old Michael Donald. For the very first time, the killers were found guilty, but the prosecutor has been number 1 on the Aryan Nation hit list ever since. 1981, Only 28 years ago, during the lives of my children.

I beheld my caring, open-hearted lover

Ignored

Every month, every week, every day, every hour

We strolled through a store

Sat together for coffee—or more.

Eyes glided blankly past her to see only me,

Ask me what I wanted

Fuss over me

Serve me

While she stood next to me:

Invisible

Black

But

Invisible

Except in the Glares of the Police.

The Stares of the Guards

The Malevolence of the Whites

Sniggering, Blithering

As we passed by.

I learned to read

The nerve-quickened pulsing

at the edge

Of her jaw,

The muscles set

—Tightly—

from

neck

to

shoulder

blade,

Petrify,

and

Rip

her throbbing, open heart

APART.

1998, three men, all members of a white supremacist prison gang, murdered James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old Texas father of three, who had accepted an early-morning ride home from work with the three men. Because it’s what white racists do, they attacked him, dragging him to his death behind their truck, then moseyed off to a barbecue. 1998, only 11 years ago, as the radical Christian Right gained its stranglehold on the Republican party, fought for religion in politics, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-everything “not them.” They’ve perfected the attack ad, blaming the “other,” hunting the scapegoat, preying on and harnessing the collective ugliness within us. And as they’ve discovered, there is more than enough to destroy this country without the need of a nuclear bomb. (and the country ignores….IT is not going away…IT grows on hate, and the agony is ascending once again, again, and again, flooding the land.)

Finally, on June 13, 2005, the US Senate formally apologized for its failure to previously enact a Federal anti-lynching law. All earlier attempts had been defeated by filibusters by powerful Southern senators. 2005, only 4 years ago (and the country sighs, it is over…Oh, how very wrong are we. Look anywhere; there IT is).

And once again the lynching comes

as mobs find courage in numbers.

Have Faith for Faith’s sake,

preserve Tradition for Tradition’s sake

Hate for Hate’s sake

With God, Government, and Police on their side.

For as far back as we have evidence, humans have practiced human sacrifice: scapegoats, the pariah, the “other” to put upon them the blame and shame of the community, to be the sacrifice for the sins of all, originally to drive them out of the community and leave them to die—or ritually kill them in cleansing ceremonies. Human sacrifice for the rest of our sakes; human sacrifice to the gods. The one we know best is the dying/rising god, the god that promises immortality. The names may change but the promise of sin-free immortality remains the same: Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Odin, Ishtar, Persephone, Baal—Jesus. Christians say Jesus is the last; THEY say Jesus took the sins of all so no one else would have to suffer; THEY say they follow him….and yet…and yet….and yet, THEY continue scape-goating—sacrificing others, projecting fears, hatred, anger, perverted thoughts onto entire populations.

What an excuse to commit genocide (Indians, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Immigrants—take your pick).

What an excuse to kill ( so many to choose from).

What an excuse to be a vigilante (a buffet of life to slaughter).

What an excuse for murdering in the name of love.

Diagnosis:

The psychosis of humanity made manifest, running amuck, ranting, wrecking, reeking havoc, assaulting, lynching, Effacing to avoid facing themselves.

Playing God, they slaughter.

The herd hunts again,

Rulers of Deceit:

The Rogue and the Righteous

—The McPalins of the World—

Forging the grandiose

Hate-Fest

To Feast,

Draped

in rancid lies

They

Dredge

the

Sludge in the drains—the slime—

Lining the social plumbing,

Lurking in the twisted shadows

Out of sight

But

Never

Out of mind.

Left too long to rot and mold

In the grime

of history

—denied—

Bubbles in repression,

Churns sour in our souls,

Flings out its tentacles for the light of day

Births hate from guilt,

Pain from shame,

Displaced blame gobbles the refusal to atone

No matter how hard we try to scrub the claims of conscience away,

Racism

is

Our Nemesis,

Our cyanide rage,

Our Gangrenous hate.

Crawling on the unmasked:

Neighbors,

Church members,

Farmers,

Butchers,

Jury-sitters

Bakers

Law-makers,

ALL

Beasts craving to be fed Again

US-made

Vampires

Raping

Their Country,

Devouring

Their Young.

(With God on their side)

Thanks to:

Abel Meeropol for the lyrics Strange Fruit

The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Morris Dees, Joseph J. Levin, Jr., and Julian Bond,

Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, all those who’ve been hurt & still will,

All who’ve fought and still continue to

Charging Shame to:

All that aid & abet fear of those who are different

All that feed off hate

All that incite violence against those who disagree

All that are complicitous, consciously or not

By riki mathews, The Trickster

(Some aspects of original format have not been preserved)

October 30, 2008 Posted by | god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Media Release: Coalition For Secular Government

Below is an e-mail we received the Coalition For Secular Government

"MEDIA RELEASE: COALITION FOR SECULAR GOVERNMENT

Nearly 40% of Colorado Voters Seek to Destroy Reproductive Rights

Sedalia, Colorado / October 7, 2008

Contact: Diana Hsieh, co-author of "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life" and founder
of the Coalition for Secular Government, Diana@SecularGovernment.us or
303.304.0689

A poll of likely voters shows strong support for Amendment 48, the ballot
measure that would grant the full legal rights of persons to fertilized
eggs.  The survey, conducted on September 28th by Rasmussen Reports with 500
likely voters, shows that 39% plan to vote for the measure, 50% to vote
against it, while 11% are unsure.  (See <http://tinyurl.com/4huary>.)

Such strong support for Amendment 48 should surprise anyone familiar with
the barrage of criticism published in Colorado media in recent weeks.
Critics of the measure have warned voters of its destructive effects on
Colorado's laws if passed and enforced.  They have shown that it would usher
in a near-total ban on abortion, outlaw the birth control pill and in vitro
fertilization, and subject pregnant women to police controls.  Yet these
latest poll results are basically unchanged from a June poll, also by
Rasmussen.  (See <http://tinyurl.com/4mm59r>.)

Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government and co-author
of "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life," argues that the broad support for Amendment
48 is driven by a deeply-held faith pretending to be "pro-life."

The most recent Rasmussen poll showed that 41% of Colorado voters believe
that "life begins at conception."  That number explains the strong support
for Amendment 48, despite the media barrage against it.  "People who endorse
that slogan regard a fertilized egg as a new, whole person with a right to
life," Hsieh said.  "They regard the enormous sacrifices forced on real men
and women by the measure as insignificant -- or even ennobling.  Their vote
is based on faith, without regard to the real-world requirements of human
life and happiness.  It's not 'pro-life' at all."

"To effectively combat measures like Amendment 48, the whole 'pro-life'
ideology must be challenged at its root," Hsieh said.  "A mushy slogan like
'it simply goes too far' is unconvincing, even misleading.  It doesn't speak
to the fundamental dispute.  Worse, it suggests that some compromise -- like
banning most abortions -- would be acceptable."

"Instead, reproductive rights must be defended on principle, based on the
objective facts of human nature.  With regard to abortion, the fact is that
a fetus or embryo is only a potential person so long as encased within and
dependent on the woman.  Once born, the infant is a new individual person
with the right to life.  That view ought to be the basis for the laws of a
free society.  Any alternative -- any attempt to grant rights to the embryo
or fetus -- would violate the rights of pregnant women."

For a principled defense of reproductive rights, see the Coalition for
Secular Government's issue paper, "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters
That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person," available at
<http://www.seculargovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf>, particularly the section
"Personhood and the Right to Abortion," pages 10-13."

- Chalmer

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Politics, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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